In the Morning
The Fourth Sunday in Advent (O Clavis David / O Key of David)
These devotions follow the basic structure of the Daily Office of the Church and are particularly appropriate for families with young children.
The Reading and the Collect may be read by one person, and the other parts said in unison, or in some other convenient manner.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Miserere mei, Deus
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,*
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,*
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
12 O give me the comfort of your help again,*
and sustain me with your willing Spirit.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
A READING FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
4 Better than this is childlessness with virtue,
for in the memory of virtue is immortality,
because it is known both by God and by men.
2 When it is present, men imitate it,
and they long for it when it has gone;
and throughout all time it marches crowned in triumph,
victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled.
3 But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use,
and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root
or take a firm hold.
4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while,
standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind,
and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted.
5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity,
and their fruit will be useless,
not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing.
6 For children born of unlawful unions
are witnesses of evil against their parents when God examines them.
7 But the righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest.
8 For old age is not honored for length of time,
nor measured by number of years;
9 but understanding is gray hair for men,
and a blameless life is ripe old age.
10 There was one who pleased God and was loved by him,
and while living among sinners he was taken up.
11 He was caught up lest evil change his understanding
or guile deceive his soul.
12 For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good,
and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
13 Being perfected in a short time, he fulfilled long years;
14 for his soul was pleasing to the Lord,
therefore he took him quickly from the midst of wickedness.
15 Yet the peoples saw and did not understand,
nor take such a thing to heart,
that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect,
and he watches over his holy ones.
The Triumph of the Righteous
16 The righteous man who has died will condemn the ungodly who are living,
and youth that is quickly perfected will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous man.
17 For they will see the end of the wise man,
and will not understand what the Lord purposed for him,
and for what he kept him safe.
18 They will see, and will have contempt for him,
but the Lord will laugh them to scorn.
After this they will become dishonored corpses,
and an outrage among the dead for ever;
19 because he will dash them speechless to the ground,
and shake them from the foundations;
they will be left utterly dry and barren,
and they will suffer anguish,
and the memory of them will perish.
The Final Judgment
20 They will come with dread when their sins are reckoned up,
and their lawless deeds will convict them to their face.
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
A hymn or canticle may be used.
Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that, guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Fourth Sunday in Advent (O Clavis David / O Key of David)
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
A COLLECT FOR STRENGTH TO AWAIT CHRIST’S RETURN
O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears, make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last great Day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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